How Emma Watson Chooses Movie Roles

The Circle Emma Watson Karen Gillan On Campus

Some actors are happy to take pretty much any and every role that comes across their desk, while others weigh their options with a little more of a strict criteria. One celebrity on the stricter side of the equation is Emma Watson, whose critical eye has landed her roles in films such as The Perks of Being A Wallflower and Beauty and the Beast, while keeping her out of films like La La Land. So what's the key to landing a Watson performance in your major motion picture? According to the actress herself, it's the right words that really sweeten the pot.

While discussing the lessons she's learned between her debut in the Harry Potter franchise and her current role in writer/director James Ponsoldt's adaptation of The Circle, Watson laid out the following game plan she usually engages in when evaluating a potential role:

It usually comes down to two things: the person I'm working with--the director is really important to me--and a line in a script. There's usually one line that I read and I'm like, 'Okay. I have to say this line. I have to tell this story.' It's an instant click. And if there isn't that line, even if the story is great, I'm always a bit meh.

Luckily for Emma Watson, The Circle has both components, which are further helped along by the fact that the film's writer is also it's director. Adapted from Dave Egger's novel of the same name, the film centers around Watson's Mae, an employee at a Google-esque company that is on the cusp of a technological advance that makes privacy almost impossible. Naturally, something within the film's script has spoken to Watson's sensibilities, as she's been well-known for her progressive outlooks. Team that up with the fact that James Ponsoldt has had a history of well-regarded literary adaptations, including The End of the Tour and The Spectacular Now, and you can kind of see the Watson method at work!

Certainly the methodology described to Interview Magazine has served Emma Watson well, as it helps narrow down films she'll actually take a look at from an undoubtedly huge stack of projects she sifts through regularly. Though, from the outside, missing out on La La Land might feel like the moment that proved that even Emma Watson's methods aren't foolproof. But consider this: when pitted between the roles of aspiring actress Mia, or kind and bravehearted Disney princess Belle, which seems like the better fit? As cool as it might have been to see Emma Watson tap dancing on a lovely night, she clearly had other plans. Plans that turned out to include one of this year's biggest hits, while at the same time allowing Watson to sing her heart out, and court a guy that loves wearing blue formal wear.

Knowing now how Emma Watson chooses her roles, we're more excited than ever to see what her work in The Circle brings. We'll all get our chance to find out firsthand, when the film invades our privacy, and theaters all over, this Friday.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.